An all too common question after I got hitched was: “Are you pregnant?” and “Are you pregnant yet?” and “When are you having a baby?” and sometimes there would be a statement: “You should get pregnant!” Some people actually thought that because I was home sick and unable to work for a year, I should…get pregnant. Because you know, being pregnant is so easy and then giving birth, also, not a tough thing and that eighteen years where I’m legally obligated to take care of my child (and the years after where I still need to care and coddle from a distance) are a breeze.
It was really hard coming from a culture where there wasn’t too much that was TMI (too much information) going to a culture where there are a lot of rules. I don’t mean religious rules, I mean formal rules about propriety that I missed during American 101 and had to make up in Jewish American 102. Just when I was starting to get the hang of things: don’t discuss bowel movements, aches or pains; don’t say anything mildly disturbing (like mentioning your family–this applies solely to MY famliy); and sometimes, even bend over backwards to be polite even when it feels insincere, things went awry.
About a month after the wedding, people started to ask about my plumbing. Wait, don’t talk about sex, don’t talk about bowel movements and don’t talk about…? How did it become socially acceptable after getting married to have people ask me about my uterus all the time? Maybe, I was just a little chunky that day? G-d forbid I was having trouble getting pregnant (I’m not) or I couldn’t have kids (not there either) or maybe, just maybe, I wasn’t even trying (yup, you got me). Or that scene at the end of Knocked Up where they had a close-up of Katherine Heigl’s between-the-legs scene birth scarred me irrepairably?
One out of four women miscarry. Isn’t that outrageous? It’s scary. I feel like most of my life, I was surrounded by women getting knocked up out of wedlock, getting hitched so they didn’t seem knocked up out of wedlock or just having babies and forgoing a wedding altogether. I just never knew. I never imagined that so many women around me could be suffering silently until some of them stopped suffering so silently around me.
I’m not suffering silently. Babies scare the crap out of me. The only way one is visiting my uterus is if Mary Poppins agrees to stay for all eighteen years and take care of baby and me. The only reason I’ve even considering letting babies come out of me is that my husband is entirely too cute not to be allowed to spread his cute genes to another generation. I’ve never been pregnant. Miscarried. And even though we’re having this conversation, I never said it was okay to ask about my uterus.
Did you hear that, people? It’s my uterus and it’s VIP, you’re not invited.